July 6, 2022

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A craft beer lovers paradise at The Mason’s Arms

2 min read

BY BILL LACY

I cannot recall when I last visited The Mason’s Arms, but I know it was the first pub where I paid over £4 for a pint, so it must have been a while ago.

I remember being outraged and swore that I would boycott pubs and start bringing cans home.

Of course, that hasn’t happened.

Last week in central London I paid nearly £7 for a half.

It’s strange the level of detail one can recall. Last week I could not manage to correctly enter the password on my phone, but I do remember that first plus £4 pint being Peroni, which no doubt added to the disappointment.

There was no chance of such a generic order now.

The Mason’s is a Fuller’s pub, so offers the usual Fuller’s range, but it’s one of those Fuller’s pubs that feels slightly individualistic as well.

Part of this comes from the incredible choice – this truly is a craft beer lover’s paradise.

There are 23 draught lines serving a wonderful array of beers.

Apparently they have even teamed up with Mondo, a brilliant local brewery, to produce a beer specifically for the pub.

There are also US beers on offer, a nod to the giant American Embassy down the road.

I can only think of a few pubs in London that would match the choice available for thirsty and discerning beer drinkers.

In my excitement, I ordered some kind of tiramisu milk stout, a bit of a faux pas for opening drink.

I hadn’t remembered the pub being quite such a beery oasis, but then many things have changed in a decade.

Ten years ago, there were fewer than 40 breweries in London (today it is nearer 150).

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A £4 pint now feels like a good deal. Corona meant a Mexican beer with a slice of lime in it.

The Mason’s has changed too – in fact it doesn’t look the same at all. It’s address is now given aspirational “Nine Elms”, rather than plain old Battersea.

A transformational refurbishment in 2019 gutted the old bar and repositioned a smaller bar nearer the front of the pub.

There are now white, butcher’s shops tilings. The outside has been painted turquoise.

It’s all very well done, but there’s always a risk than in ripping out old features you rip out some of it’s atmosphere too.

It certainly felt less like a local’s place and the atmosphere is now what 10 years ago we would have called a “gastropub”, less pubbish than before. But perhaps this is nostalgia creeping in.

The beer choice alone justifies a trip.

The Mason’s Arms, Battersea 169 Battersea Park Road Nine Elms, SW8 4BT

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